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1 John 3:11-24

Talks for Growing Christians

The Family Likeness of Brotherly Love

1 John 3:11-24

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The family likeness of brotherly love is a test of Christian fellowship.
    a. A negative example of brotherly love.
    b. A positive example of brotherly love.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be surprised if the world hates you.

Questions

  1. What is the theme of this epistle?
  2. How is fellowship defined in Scripture?
  3. State the basis of Christian fellowship and the result of Christian fellowship.
  4. List the tests of Christian fellowship as stated in 1 John 2.
  5. Likenesses in God’s family picture album are given in 1 John 3. What are they?
  6. List a negative example of brotherly love from the Bible. List a positive example of brotherly love.

Answers

  1. Christian Fellowship.
  2. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3). When together our focus is on the Lord and what He has done for us and is doing for us, then and only then are we enjoying and experiencing real Christian fellowship.
  3. Christ is the basis of Christian fellowship and true joy is the result of Christian fellowship.
  4. Obedience to the word, love for fellow believers, separation from the world, and separation from false teaching.
  5. Righteousness and brotherly love.
  6. Cain is listed as a negative example. The Lord Himself is the supreme positive example.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Cain came in his own way to God, not God’s way of sacrifice. That’s like a lot of people today. They try to come to God in their own way rather than God’s way through Christ alone. Did you ever have this problem? Cain hated his brother because his brother’s works were righteous. Again, that’s like a lot of people today. A person who calls himself/herself a Christian and yet continually hates his/her fellow believers is not in the family of God. What is your attitude and action toward fellow believers?
  2. See 1 John 3:16: John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. The Lord laid down his life for us. The latter part of 1 John 3:16 says, “And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Are you aware of the many missionaries, pastors and believers throughout the world who are laying down their lives for the brethren today? Become aware of the persecutions of this age and pray for those who are laying down their lives for the brethren that Christ might be preached?
  3. Read 1 John 3:17 as a minimal expression of brotherly love. You may not be called upon to lay down your life for the brethren, but you are called to share with your brothers and sisters in need. Are you aware of those in need? What are you doing about it?
  4. God helps us examine our hearts concerning brotherly love. God shows us by a) our conscience, b) our prayers, and c) the Holy Spirit. See 1 John 3:20-24. Examine your heart before the Lord.

Challenge

  1. “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13). When you present the truth of the gospel you will experience the mockery and hate of this world. When you stand for biblical moral standards, God will bless you, but the world will hate you. Are you willing to experience this kind of hate for the sake of the gospel?

Key Verses

  • “We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11
  • “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13
  • “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16
  • “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
  • “Whatever we ask we receive from Him , because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22

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